The phrase “private information” may seem like it is difficult to define. You, a 30 year old male, bringing a rubber ducky into your bath is probably private. You may not want your romantic pursuits to know that, but the rules on the internet are different.

Private information is generally defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person or data subject. This means that if you cannot tie the information to a particular person, then it is not private. Why should you care about what is and what is not private information? If you collect private information on your website or application, that means that you are required, by law, to have a Privacy Policy. Private information can be classified into two segments: general private information and sensitive private information.

The following are examples of general private information as pertaining to a particular person:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age of date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Citizenship
  • Language spoken
  • Veteran status
  • Disabled status
  • IP address (in some jurisdictions)

The following are examples of private information that is related to an organization:

  • Business and personal address
  • Business phone number
  • Business emails
  • Internal identification number
  • Government issued identification number
  • Identity verification information

Sensitive private information is information that requires additional security protection due to it’s nature. Examples of sensitive private information in the U.S. include:

  • Social Security Number
  • Financial information
  • Driver’s license number
  • Medical records

Examples of sensitive private information in the EU include:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade-union membership
  • Health or sex life
  • Offenses or criminal convictions

Remember that if you collect any of the information enumerated above, you must have a Privacy Policy as that is required by law. Also, if you collect sensitive private information, you must provide additional safeguards to make sure that this information has additional security protections. Enjoy your baths and…


Protect yo’ self,

Team Termageddon